How do you think your game has improved since you were in this tournament a year ago?
Knowing I need to be more aggressive on the offensive end, helping my teammates - just being an all-around player and helping them anyway I can – so that's one of the biggest improvements I've made from my 10th to 11th grade year.
What basketball events did you get a chance to play in over the summer?
I played in the USA Global Challenge, I went to Paul Pierce Camp and I worked out at the school.
What was the focus at the Paul Pierce Camp?
Just wing play - getting open, getting different moves, going to the hole, pulling up – it was just a wing camp.
How's your junior season going so far?
We went up to Illinois for a tournament up there and I averaged over 30 points per game and set the scoring record for the tournament. … practiced and tried to get ready for Bishop O'Connell with my future point guard teammate [Kendall Marshall]. He played good defense on me the whole game – he played face to face defense and they took the victory. Came into this tournament with a nagging injury and I had to suck it up because my team needed me …
What are the details with this injury you played through this week?
It's just a shin [problem] – I felt the pain and got X-Rays two days before I came up here and I've got to go tomorrow to get a bone scan because they didn't see anything when they took X-Rays. So I don't know what it is.
How did it affect your play here?
I could have attacked the basket more and gotten my teammates more involved ...
You seem taller each time we see you – how tall are you now?
6-7. I just went to the doctor Thursday and I don't think I'm going to grow any more because they said my growth plates have closed. … So I think I'll end up being 6-7 – or hopefully 6-8.
Has your role been changing at all as you've kept growing? I don't think my position has changed because it'll be harder on shorter defenders that are guarding me, so it's easier [playing on the wing] the more I grow.
Where do you think your game projects at the college level?
A 2/3. [UNC] says I'll be a shooting guard and small forward there …
What about your game do you think makes you a good fit at North Carolina?
Being unselfish, how I carry myself, scoring ability, crashing the boards, versatility – that's why they offered me.
What's your relationship with UNC been like since you committed nearly a year ago?
It's been good. The players treat me good, I hang out with Wayne Ellington, go to the games, the coaches stay in touch with me – wish me a Merry Christmas and check in on my family and come out and watch me.
Saw you at the UNC game against Rutgers the other night – what are your thoughts on how the team has been doing?
They've been working hard on defense. Wayne Ellington, he could put up some more shots – that's one of my favorite players – but they've been working hard and are still undefeated so hopefully they can keep it going.
What's it like sitting front row for a game like that?
It's fun – sitting front row and looking at the players, seeing what I'm going to be doing in a couple years. I talk to them and they treat me like family when I'm up there.
How often do you get up there?
I'd say about twice a month, but I stay in touch with the coaches all the time.
Who are you closest with on the team?
Do you see some similarities in your game and his?
Yeah, we both play shooting guard. I told him this, and he probably thought I was playing about it, but I told him he was my favorite college basketball player and I was actually riding around in the car with him – and it was crazy because that's my favorite college player and I'm riding around with him. It was a fun time when I was up there with him.
When did he become one of your favorite players?
Immediately - right when he got there, I could see he could shoot it. But when Kevin Durant was in college, that was my favorite player – that's why I wear No. 35, because of Kevin Durant. I see similarities in the way we slash, the way we rebound and the way we shoot.
As a publicly committed player, do other schools still try to recruit you?
I don't know. When I get a letter … I got a letter from like Florida State or UConn and threw it away.
Your head coach, Wells Gulledge, plays an important role in your life. Can you talk about how he helps you?
He makes sure I stay on my books, keeps me focused, doesn't let people on the street give me a big head so it keeps me level headed. He tells me to be more aggressive [on the court] and to stay hungry.
Q&A with Kinston head coach WELLS GULLEDGE
Can you talk about how Reggie's game has evolved over the past year?
He's gained about an inch (laughs). His shot is much more consistent this year. I'd like to see him put it on the ground a little bit more and get to the basket, which he'll work on. You can't miss him – he's 6-foot-7 and teams leave him so I don't think he's forcing anything. Overall, in his maturation, his shot's become more of a higher percentage shot behind the three, but also he's getting a little bit stronger … The weight room's going to be big for him next summer. … so I think you'll continue to see his game really grow. But he didn't know how to crash the boards last year, and now he's in there and gets a lot of tip backs because of his length – he's in there really battling on a nightly basis for us. He probably gets three or four trash baskets by just standing in there and getting his fingertips on the ball. His maturation in terms of aggressiveness is something that's really starting to turn the corner a little bit. … But there are not too many guys going to big time colleges and universities who make it as easy to play with, because Reggie will make that next pass.
How have you personally seen him mature during that span?
That's what separates the good and great players. He has a great attitude and he understands the game – he's great at that. He's a good basketball player and there's a lot more room for improvement with him, but as far as knowing the tempo, knowing how to be a teammate, knowing how to handle the media, knowing how to walk into a room [and be respectful] … you won't find any better. It [passes on] down to our team.